Coffee

The Coffee Has Been Located!
I repeat, the coffee has been found!!

One of my favourite ‘last days’ in Canada was the day I headed to the airport. I had spent that morning moving out of my place (haha nothing like waiting for the last minute) and then was en route to the airport.

When I got to Edmonton I met up with a friend and we spent our last half hour together walking down Whyte Ave and in true Canadian fashion found ourselves at Tim Hortons grabbing a double double to-go.

at a coffee farm 2012 in northern Uganda

at a coffee farm 2012 in northern Uganda

I know Tim’s coffee is good but it’s by no means the gold of all java. I love my Tim’s but when I came home from Uganda last year… I was sadly disappointed by it because it just wasn’t the glory in a cup  I had found in that beautiful small African country.

Heading back to Africa a year later, just two countries south of Uganda, what I looked forward to most (at least as far as food and beverage goes) was the coffee.

This was not the case! For two months, with the exception of a trip to Mzuzu – I have been without a decent cup of coffee! But, with some Lilongwe Chat, Internations Forums and some advice from past CCA volunteers and random ex-pats coffee has been located (for a price).

Enjoying the WiFi and coffee at the Mzuzu Coffee Den back in October

Enjoying the WiFi and coffee at the Mzuzu Coffee Den back in October

I am sharing this blog in hopes that any future travellers coming to Lilongwe, Malawi may have hopes of finding coffee in their first few weeks rather than first few months. Prices as of November 2013 range between 500 – 1,000 kwacha and well worth it if you’re an addict like me. Note for price comparisons: you can buy a single slice of pizza at Ali Baba’s for 350 kwacha and a beer in most restaurants would cost you 600.

BEHOLD COFFEE HEAVEN:

Where I’ve found Mzuzu Coffee (easily the best)
– Bombay Palace, Indian Restaurant in Old Town in Game complex around corner from Papayas … hours of operation can make it hard to get to if you’re working a lot. Sidebar – they have fantastic Indian food, seriously so delicious, and good food is hard to find here.

Second best place for coffee
– The Sunbird chain of hotels, usually noted on the menu as Sunbird Coffee (unless you’re in Mzuzu then jump all over that!!)

Other places to try
– Kiboko Hotel in Old Town
– Papaya in Old Town in the Game complex… not always available but it is on the menu
– Mamma Mia, Italian Restaurant in Old Town Mall (haven’t tried yet but comes highly recommended)
– A bistro type place at Crossroads, name unknown (haven’t tried yet but comes highly recommended)
– Living Room Cafe in area 4

Common coffee easy to find:
Ricoffe Instant requires four heaping teaspoons per mug and drink quickly while still hot, it’s not good but it’ll help you at least feel like you’re getting some of the start you need to your day.

Note:
Please, if you find good filtered coffee do yourself a favour and avoid the cream/milk (if that’s even what it is) you will thank me.

Best of luck fellow travellers and coffee lovers, Lilongwe isn’t exactly the coffee capital of Malawi but it is possible to get your fix, just be prepared to sit down and enjoy it as there are no to-go cups here. It’s worth noting the cup size, if you’re like me and used to a 16 ounce extra large… well actually… just let go of all your hopes, dreams and expectations in the coffee department and you’ll be fine!

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